Thursday, January 19, 2006


OK, first off, let me say: I haven't done anything like this in a while.

Now let's proceed.

The last few days, whenever I used the oven, it smoked quite a bit. Not long ago, I made a sweet potato and parsnip casserole, which probably slopped down into the bottom of the oven, and continued to smoke whenever we cooked something else. In fact, when I was cooking a lasagna the other day, my wife said, based on the smell, "Please tell me you're cooking sweet potatoes." (She likes sweet potatoes). "Sorry, no", I told her.

I figured this morning was a good time to put the oven in "self-cleaning" mode. Basically, the oven heats up to super maximum heat, and reduces any food particles in the oven to a fine ash which cleans up really easily.

I turn the oven to self-clean, and let it go for an hour or two.


Remember how it smoked and smelled when we were actually cooking? This time, you have no IDEA how bad it smelled. And my eyes were practically watering from the smoke. Luckily, it was reasonably mild today, so when I opened every window in the house (and blew around every paper that wasn't tacked down) it only felt like I was living in the Arctic, rather than the inside of an actual freezer. It was pretty cold.

So, after a couple hours, I turn off the oven to let it cool.

Later this afternoon, I figure I'll take a damp cloth and wipe out the ash from the bottom of the oven.

So I look inside. Guess what I find?

Perhaps we should call it a new recipe. Have you ever heard of twice-baked potatoes?

Well, I've invented...


They were really quite a sight to behold. Check this out:

You know how sweet potatoes are usually pretty dense vegetables? Not THESE babies. They were like, I don't know... spore pods, ready to disintegrate at the slightest touch, releasing their contents to the winds.

Is there a moral to this story?

Um... check your oven before you clean it?

For that matter, and just for the record... I don't even recall *putting* sweet potatoes in the oven. I think my mother-in-law might have done it. I won't check with her, but let's blame her anyway. She has strong shoulders.


At 5:15 PM, Anonymous Jennifer said...

This story really cracked me up. Thanks for the laugh. I really needed one. By the way...the first thing I do when using the computer is read your blog. Quite entertaining!


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